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Mine Clearing Roller System (MCRS)

The track-width mine roller is a mechanical minefield-detection system. It is most effectively deployed to lead columns on route movement, but it can be used to precede tactical formations. In column movement, unit vehicles travel a narrow path, and one or two mine rollers can effectively detect mines in the path. Mine rollers can also be used to detect minefields in front of deployed tactical formations; however, more than one roller is required for a good probability of detection.

The Mine Clearing Roller System (MCRS) consists of two sets of five large, heavy rollers which, like mine plows, are fitted to the front of each of a tank's tracks. The MCRS is installed on the front of armored combat vehicles through a removable adapter, and provides the capability for neutralization of Anti-Tank (AT) land mines, which are buried or laid the surface, in the track path of the vehicle. The MCRS is comprised of two roller banks with two push arm assemblies. Each roller bank has four rollers, which apply ground pressure higher than that exerted by the tank. This principle ensures the explosion of pressure fused anti tank mines, which would otherwise explode under the track itself.

The AMMAD (Anti Magnetic Mine Activating Device) system, which is connected between the roller banks, detonates magnetic fused A.T. mines, which are laid in the full width of the vehicle. The same device will also activate tilt-rod-fused mines, which are laid between the track path. The MCRS usually operates in conjunction with other mine-clearing equipment, like the plough and line-charges. The MCRS travels as the first tank of combat forces and detects the mine field (through detonation of a mine). After creating a breached lane by the plough or line-charge, the MCRS is the first tank to test that lane. In the absence of other main mine-clearing equipment, the MCRS creates an initially breached lane allowing other tanks to follow its path. Each side of the MCRS is capable of withstanding at least 5 accumulated explosions of M-15A.T. mine (10 Kg. explosive).

During Operation Desert Storm, the MCRS was cumbersome, heavy (the entire system weighs about 20,000 lbs.) and hard to transport. In addition, since they were originally designed for the firmer soil conditions of Europe, its rollers were unsuitable for the softer soil of the desert. Instead of rolling, they often merely skidded, pushing soil in front of them until they bogged down. The 1st Marine division attempted to proof two lanes with the MCRS. Both were unsuccessful, and one missed a mine, which blew apart a track of the tank pushing it, immobilizing the tank and blocking the lane.

BACKGROUND

  • Roller Type Classified 1983
  • M1 Mounting Kit Type Classified 1986
  • Produced 195 Rollers & 276 Mounting Kits
  • First Unit Equipped 1990
  • Basis of Issue: One per Armor Company





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